*Fox News is questioning rapper Common’s invitation to a White House event this week celebrating American poetry – all because one of his poems included wordplay the suggested the burning of former President George W. Bush.
President Obama and his wife Michelle will host the gathering of poets, musicians and artists at the White House on Wednesday night. Joining Common on the performance bill are Elizabeth Alexander, Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott.
Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., is also expected to take part in rap workshops with schoolchildren in the afternoon before performing in the evening.
The White House said the readings and performances will highlight poetry’s influence on American culture.
But Fox News’s website pointed out in its story “Michelle Obama Hosting Vile Rapper at White House?” that Common’s “poetry includes threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the “burn[ing]” of then-President George W. Bush.”
The article was referring to Common’s poem about governmental abuse of power, “A Letter to the Law,” which he recited on a Jan. 2007 episode of HBO’s “Def Poetry.”
The line in question, “Burn a Bush, cuz for peace he no push no button,” comes at about 1:59 in the video below.